One of the distinct upsides of Big Finish getting veteran actors to recreate their roles from Doctor Who and other shows in their productions is the wealth of experience that is brought to the studio. This is demonstrated in the final product, of course, but there’s another side which perhaps gets overlooked – the sheer volume of anecdotes which many of these born raconteurs can tell. The CD extras occasionally hint at some of these stories, and those lucky enough to spend time in the green room at Big Finish recordings are always regaled with (often unprintable!) tales.
Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter – best known now as Jago and Litefoot – are both veterans of the entertainment industry, and it’s been very clear that they both have fascinating tales to tell about their own lives. This CD double set sees them together chatting with Nick Briggs for a short time before spending time individually with him and then being reunited.
Briggs is a deft interviewer, unearthing stories which clearly affect his interviewees without feeling as if he’s probing too deeply. What we get a picture of is the men behind the acting façade, complete with their insecurities, their failures and their triumphs. The flow is occasionally broken up with Briggs explaining some of the background – although a list of Christopher Benjamin’s 1960s and 1970s credits makes its point, then makes it again, and then underlines it, before repeating – and some of the choicer anecdotes also get a musical background. This serves to break up any monotony (which, to be honest, there isn’t any).
Verdict: A fascinating insight into two gentlemen of the stage. 8/10